• Even though security remains a challenge, access continues to open up into more remote areas of the Far North region. Through its partners, UNICEF was able to reach displaced children on the border with Nigeria, providing them with nutrition, primary health care, education and child protection services.
• By the end of 2016 more than 540,000 people are displaced in Cameroon. Displacement has put pressure on host communities that were already facing challenges accessing adequate health care, education, water supply and sanitation – in addition to chronic malnutrition.
• In 2016, UNICEF has supported the treatment of over 56,000 children under five years old with severe acute malnutrition, provided access to education to more than 55,000 children in emergency affected areas as well and interim care and follow up services to more than 1,750 separated or unaccompanied children.
• At the end of December, UNICEF received an additional 3 million USD.
With these funds allocated to 2017, they will permit UNICEF with the critical start necessary to reach its HAC 2017 targets.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
The past year saw the continued displacement of populations from Nigeria, CAR and within Cameroon to the Far North, Adamawa and East regions of Cameroon. In the Far North, while the population of Minawao camp increased to 59,794 refugees, the focus at the end of the year shifted to those outside the camp – the 26,743 refugees not registered and living within the host communities, as well as the 199,889 IDPs – 67% of whom are children (DTM 5, IOM, October 2016). A total of 259,145 CAR refugees have been identified in the East, Adamawa and North regions, with 75,815 in refugee camps and the vast majority of 183,330 residing in host communities.
The historic underdevelopment of these regions, combined with the stresses brought on by the IDP and refugee populations, has put pressure on host communities that were already facing challenges accessing adequate health care, education, water supply and sanitation – in addition to chronic malnutrition.
In the East and Adamawa, this comes at a time when humanitarian actors face a decrease in funding to respond effectively to the crisis to the point that some humanitarian actors are considering targeting their limited resources to the most vulnerable refugees.
In addition to a challenge in access to basic services, the populations in the regions affected by crises in Cameroon are exposed to a plethora of additional protection challenges, in particular children under administrative custody.
Unaccompanied girls placed in host families are exposed greater risks of sexual violence and abuse.
Over the course of 2016, UNICEF worked to strengthen is operational capacities for improved assessment of the situation and to ensure an appropriate response on the ground. UNICEF has deployed new staff to the Bertoua Field Office to strengthen its basic services program. In the Maroua Field Office, UNICEF is reinforcing its education and child protection programs, recognizing that children need safe environments in which to learn and feel protected from the effects of conflict on their wellbeing.